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There are dozens of day trips from Dubrovnik, as it is positioned strategically in the center of some very interesting Balkan countries and points of interest. It’s a great place to base yourself for Dubrovnik day trips if you don’t have the time to visit surrounding places for a few days, but want to make the most of your time in the Balkans. I’m all about making the most of your travels (that’s something my returning readers will surely know about me 😛 ), and if that means doing a bunch of day trips so you can see more, I’m all about it!
I worked in Croatia for four summers, and have visited for the last five. I was a guide on Croatia sailing tours for three summers, and a private hire guide through four Balkan countries for one. This means that I have had the chance to get to know both Croatia and all the surrounding Balkan countries very, VERY well. If it can be done as day trips from Dubrovnik, trust me, I have done it and probably gotten to know the destination very well also.
Anyway, enough about me. Here are the top 15 Dubrovnik day trips that you can take while you are staying in what we lovingly call “Dub City.’ I will provide links to tours that I recommend, and also my personal thoughts about the destination/trip and which ones might warrant more than just a day trip. Some things in the Balkans are farther apart than you would think!
This is a really long guide- pin it to your Pinterest boards to save for later!
The first section details all sorts of day trips from Dubrovnik that take place within Croatia, and is followed by a section of Dubrovnik day trips to Bosnia + Herzegovina and then to Montenegro. Make sure to check them all out, because the last sections are some of the most amazing day trips you can take from Dubrovnik for sure (and you get to see other countries!).
If you’re looking for things to do in Dubrovnik, I have you covered there also… only, it’s a separate (equally comprehensive) article. Click here to open my “Tour Guide’s Guide to the Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik,” also taken from quite a few years of experience.
But before Getting to Day Trips from Dubrovnik, Did you Know I Have Over 20 Articles About Croatia?!
- A Tour Guide’s Super-Guide to All of Croatia
- Top 15 Festivals in Croatia
- Ziplining in Croatia
- Tour Guide’s Guide to Split
- Tour Guide’s Guide to Hvar
- Tour Guide’s Guide to Vis Island
- How to Choose the Best Croatia Sailing Tour
- Hideout Festival Review-Guide
Without further ado, here we go!
Blue Cave – Elaphite Islands
The 15 Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Day Trips Within Croatia
1. Elaphite Islands Day Trips from Dubrovnik
It’s definitely worth going out to see the Elaphite Islands as one or even two day trips from Dubrovnik. These are gorgeous islands surrounding Dubrovnik’ s port and sprawling a bit farther up the coast as well. They’re the ones that are visible from the panoramic hill overlooking the city!
There are two different kinds of Elaphite islands trips from Dubrovnik. One involves a bigger, slower wooden boat that takes you to three small cities on three islands. The other is a speedboat that takes a smaller, more adventurous group to swim in a few different amazing caves and to the only sandy beach on the Dalmatian coast. Here’s a breakdown:
Elaphite Towns Sailing Tour
These Elaphite Islands Day Trips from Dubrovnik take you to Lopud, Koločep, and Šipan- the three main islands/towns of the Elaphite Islands. This tour enables you to get a little getaway from Dubrovnik and visit some smaller, less touristy, and more authentic Croatian island towns. The tours will give you a certain amount of time in each town, which you can spend exploring, visiting nearby beaches, shopping, or eating.
If you only have a short time in Dubrovnik, this is my number one recommendation for a getaway to experience a bit more Croatian culture.
Views from the largest of the Elaphite Islands
Elaphite Speedboat Tour
The speedboat tour takes you to Koločep and Lopud islands as well, except in a totally different manner! This is an adventure tour, and you will get goggles and snorkels from the boat for optimal exploration capability! You’ll visit a blue cave that you can swim in (not as big as the one near Vis). You swim through a small opening between the cave and water, and because it’s so dark inside the light shines through the water making it and the cave seem to glow blue.
You’ll also visit three smaller-yet-equally-awesome caves on the other side of the same bay, and then swim up to he only sandy beach in the area (Croatia is usually very rocky), on Lopud Island.
2. Korčula Island Day Trips from Dubrovnik
With good reason, they call Korčula town (on Korčula island) the ‘mini Dubrovnik.’ See, it’s also a medieval walled town on the coast; it’s smaller yet equally beautiful! You can visit Korčula as one of your many day trips from Dubrovnik. It’s also famous for being the alleged birthplace of Marco Polo! You could spend a few days in Korčula if you have time, but it’s definitely small and doable in one day if that’s all you have. For all my best tips on Korčula, visit my Tour Guide’s Guide to Korčula!
The Pelješac peninsula is just across a short channel from Korčula, and is known for its wine, dramatic mountains, and small towns. It is one of the most esteemed and prolific wine regions in Croatia, due to its steep and rocky slopes that get tons of sun both from the sky and reflected from the water. The peninsula is actually directly opposite to Korčula island, but reachable from Dubrovnik as it’s connected to the mainland.
A sunset from the bell tower in Korčula
3. Mljet Island Day Trip from Dubrovnik
Mljet is one of my favorite Croatian islands and a true untouched paradise. It’s fairly untouched because a majority of the island is actually a National Park, comprised of dense forests surrounding two perfectly-blue saltwater lakes. It’s amazing for renting bikes, kayaking, hiking, and getting away from the city bustle for a little bit.
4. Dubrovnik to Split Day Trip
Don’t have time to visit Split during the rest of your trip?! No problem. you can visit Split and some surrounding points of interest as yet another amazing Dubrovnik day trip.
It’s a bit of a drive up to Split; it could be as short as 3 hours but sometimes traffic can hold you back a bit longer. However, Split is 100% worth a visit while you’re in Croatia – even if just as a day trip. To be honest, there’s not heaps going on in Split, but the ancient Roman old town is truly a sight to behold. You can see my guide to Split to check out all my best recommendations, or my popular Day Trips from Split post if you end up choosing to base yourself there for a bit in the end.
5. Dubrovnik Scuba Diving
Yep, you heard that right, you can go scuba diving in Dubrovnik! Certified or not, this intro course will show you the incredible underwater world of Croatia as you dive through some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. You can do a course toward your PADI or just a full day diving package, depending on your needs.
Plitvice Lakes NP
6. Plitvice Lakes National Park Tour from Dubrovnik
Plitvice Lakes is one of the most famous National parks in Croatia and perhaps in Europe itself. It’s quite far from Dubrovnik (read: very far. Don’t say I didn’t warn you). But, if you are limited on time and absolutely must see it, you can see it as one of many day trips from Dubrovnik.
7. Wine Tasting Tour from Dubrovnik – Dubrovnik, Pelješac, and Ston
If you’re a wine-o, you can spend a day visiting a few different main wine regions of Southern Croatia. This tour will take you through the Pelješac peninsula (described above in the Korčula section), the beautiful medieval town of Ston (famous for its oysters, which you’ll try), a few wineries, and a restaurant for a 3 course Croatian meal.
Your guide will be a sommelier who is very familiar with the region. This tour is a great way to get out of the city and experience a bit of the Croatian countryside for the day!
Looking at the Dervish house next to the Blagaj spring
Day Trips from Dubrovnik to Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina is an absolutely stunning country. Recently very troubled in the Yugoslav Wars (early 1990’s – see my Croatia Super Guide for more background info), some scars are still very raw in the country – especially in the capital, Sarajevo. Having had much more Turkish influence than Croatia, Bosnia is a Muslim country and reflects as such in its culture, food, clothing, and shopping.
The country is divided into two provinces -which are – you guessed it – Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most day trips from Dubrovnik will visit the Herzegovina part, which is more southern and has Mostar as its capital. Herzegovina has some incredible natural wonders that are definitely worth seeing.
Below I will list out to you the brief main points of interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are visited by some day trips from Dubrovnik I know. Some tours visit one, two, or all of these, and it’s up to you to choose which places you would like in your tour (options linked below in more detail).
Blagaj Springs + Tekija/Dervish House: Blagaj springs is a deep freshwater spring which is the source of the Buna river, at the base of a massive cliff. Next to the spring is a historic Dervish house, where a certain branch of Islamic people used to live off the land. It’s an incredible sight and interesting to learn about the Dervished, which are like the islamic hippies.
Kravice Falls – these are some incredible waterfalls nearer to Croatian border. They are fantastic to have a swim, sunbathe, or relax at surrounding restaurants.
Pocitelj Castle: Pocitelj is an Ottoman hilltop walled town next to a beautiful river. You can climb the stairs of the authentic town, picking pomegranates off the trees and taking in the true ruins of an ancient town. There are a few lookout points where you can gaze out at the countryside and the walled town itself. You can also buy pomegranate juice, rose water, and tons of fresh fruit and nuts from the locals.
Medugorje: This is a famous Christian pilgrimage site where the Virgin Mary apparently appeared to a group of young people. Today, people make pilgrimages to Medigorje from all over the world, attend masses in a HUGE outdoor church, make confessions in booths in 20 different languages, revel at statues of Jesus, and get every single Virgin Mary souvenir possible. Yep… its interesting.
Mostar: Mostar is the incredible capital of southern Bosnia, with an iconic old bridge and an amazing old stone Turkish town. There are temples to visit, old houses to explore, tons of (totally different from Croatia) market stalls to explore, and beautiful views to be seen. Mostar blog post coming soon!
Sarajevo: This is the capital of the country, and much farther away than Mostar. Sarajevo seems even more Muslim/Turkish than Mostar in its incredible soukhs, cobblestone streets, and markets, and has a rich history to tell.
Dervish House and Mostar Old Bridge
Here are the options for Bosnia Day Tours from Dubrovnik.
Yes, it is indeed possible to visit just Sarajevo as a quite long day tour from Dubrovnik. If you are short on time you can spend a day wandering around the very historic capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is famous for being the site of the beginning of World War 1 and also hit very hard during the Yugoslav Wars (seized for 4 years, in fact).
As you can see, there are tons of options! Is it better to spend one day seeing lots of things (and moving fast), or to spend more time getting to know less places? Well, I think this first depends if you will ever be back here again. If no, go for the tour with the most sights! If yes, maybe dedicate this trip to getting to know, say, Mostar and Kravice, and come back for the rest another day.
My articles are always choose-your-own-adventure while trying to give the best recommendations. I would go for the first tour, but wanted to give you options for different preferences!
Day Trips from Dubrovnik to Montenegro
Like Bosnia, there is a LOT to see in Montenegro. However, most is not as accessible in one day. The Bay of Kotor is an incredible sight to behold, with towering mountains over a massive bay. The town of Kotor itself is a charming medieval old walled town protected by a high hilltop fortress, and is also well worth exploring. Perast is another small town on the Bay of Kotor. Budva is another walled town down the coast, but a bit bigger and with a more bustling nightlife scene (a great beach too!). Sveti Stefan is a beautiful isthmus-island just south of Budva.
Montenegro is also home to some absolutely breathtaking national parks, mountain ranges, and nature away from the coasts, but most would require more than just a day trip. The river Tara runs through the Tara River Gorge, which is one of the longest canyons in Europe and absolutely breathtaking. The rafting trip below takes you on a spectacular adventure through a stunning Montenegrin National Park (my second most recommended of these day trips from Dubrovnik!).
Similarly to Bosnia, there are tons of day trips from Dubrovnik to different parts of Montenegro. Some include just the Bay of Kotor, some go to Kotor and Budva (but spend less time in each) and some actually include sailing from Dubrovnik. Below is the tour I recommend, followed by a few other options for different needs.
If after reading all this you have deemed that day trips from Dubrovnik aren’t enough for you to see everything, there are many ways to get around the Balkans.
For those on a tighter budget, taking the bus will be the best way for you to get place to place. Each main city has a bus terminal and it’s quite easy for you to book a bus ticket from there to many surrounding places, or you can check online on Busbud, Flixbus, or GoEuro (my recommended bus booking platform for Europe).
For those who want a little bit more freedom, it’s a great idea to rent a car and drive from place to place. There are many companies who’ll allow use in multiple countries. I rented a car from Sixt in Croatia and drove it through Slovenia, Bosnia, and Montenegro without issue. Compare all rates on Rentalcars.com; just make sure if you want to cross borders that the rental company is okay with that.
Lastly, if you would like to travel in style, there are many private transfers available from Dubrovnik to surrounding cities:
- Dubrovnik to Budva
- Dubrovnik to Sarajevo (but don’t miss Mostar!)
- Dubrovnik to Mostar
- Dubrovnik to Kotor
- Dubrovnik to Split
- Cheap Transfer Dubrovnik Airport to City
Have any questions about your trip to Croatia? Feel free to contact me for any trip-planning help! Remember to Pin this post to Pinterest!
Don’t forget to pin these day trips from Dubrovnik to your Pinterest boards!